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Caitlin Patler


  • Ph.D., Sociology, UCLA
  • M.A., Sociology, UCLA
  • B.A., Sociology and Chicana/o Studies, UCLA


Caitlin Patler is an assistant professor of sociology at UC Davis. She is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Poverty Research as well as in the Migration Studies Cluster, the Social Control Cluster, and the Human Rights Program.

Prior to joining the UC Davis faculty, Professor Patler was a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the UC Irvine Department of Criminology, Law and Society. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a Ford Foundation Diversity Fellow, and a UCLA Center for the Study of Women Paula Stone Legal Research Fellow. 

Research Focus

Professor Patler’s research explores citizenship and legal status as axes of stratification that significantly shape opportunities for mobility. She analyzes how immigration status impacts education, employment, and health among immigrants and their families. Her work also explores how immigrants experience and resist exclusion in everyday life, within institutions such as schools, and through detention and deportation policies. She is currently conducting two longitudinal mixed-methods research projects. The first focuses on the impacts of long-term immigration detention on detainees and their families. The second project examines the impacts of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on undocumented youth.

Selected Publications


Professor Patler teaches courses on immigration to the United States and on sociological methodology.


  • UC Davis Academic Senate Faculty Research Grant (Co-PI: Erin Hamilton), 2017-2018
  • UC Davis Diversity & Inclusion Grant, 2017
  • Russell Sage Foundation Presidential Award, 2016-2018
  • Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline, supported by the American Sociological Association and the National Science Foundation, 2016
  • University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2014-2016
  • UC Irvine ADVANCE Career Development Award, 2015
  • Sociological Initiatives Foundation Action Research Project Grant (with Dream Team Los Angeles), 2014-2016
  • American Sociological Association Sydney S. Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Social Policy, Community Action Research Award, 2013-14